LEGO Pirates of the Caribbean: The Video Game
That the most innovative toy in the world is also doing well digitally is proven by the large arsenal of LEGO games. Developer Traveller’s Tale can now add Pirates of the Caribbean to its portfolio, next to Batman, Indiana Jones, Star Wars and Harry Potter. Some gamers would call this milking, but Traveller’s Tale has a magical formula. They play in on our collector’s anger and keep the games light and enjoyable.
The first big surprise arrives immediately in the main menu as next to the first three movies also the fourth, Strangers Tides is present. A good reason to refresh my memory with the storylines of the first three parts from the movie series and already take a look at what ‘On Stranger Tides’ will bring us. But as there’s no real voices present and everything is made clear through mimics and crazy sounds, you only get a very superficial view on the trilogy. Superficial, but with a sense of humour as the combination of Jack Sparrow and the dry humour of LEGO go hand in hand very well.
Where you were swirling around with a magical staff in Harry Potter, the pirate world has a couple of different unique elements, but not many. Sword combat is of course the most obvious, but you can also use Jack Sparrow’s compass to hunt for treasures and by means of cannons and fireworks you can uncover hidden passages. The setup of the game has remained the same; you’ve got four movies which are playable independently, each divided in five levels that let you replay an important part from the movie chronologically.
Finishing all levels is “only” 50% of the game, after which the hellish though enjoyable quest for collecting all blocks, coins and characters starts. The replay value of the game is high as previous parts in levels weren’t accessible due to missing characters. Also in the hub, the menu where you roam freely, there are puzzles to solve which in return give you fun extras in the form of twenty hats with each a unique function as reward.
What adds appeal to the LEGO games is the possibility to play the entire campaign with a friend. Just plain oldskool offline co-op. Gameplay-technically there’s little changed. Jumping is still very random making you often miss the desired platform. Also the AI of your fellow companions is of a rather low level, but we gladly take along all these lackings due to the fact that in the end the game does remain fun.
Graphically the LEGO games look better each time. Very beautiful, clear environments that manage to breathe the perfect atmosphere. The big scene moments like the confrontation between the Black Pearl and the HMS Dauntless, the visit to Tortuga, the famous waterwheel scene from the second movie and even the final fight in the giant whirlpool from the third film are brought very funny and often manage to bring a smile to your face.
The LEGO games manage to remain consistent in their quality and each time deliver new elements. After six games one would start to grow tired of the franchise, but Traveller’s Tales doesn’t let things come to that. The games have a lot of content, can be played by young and old, and remain challenging enough. LEGO Pirates of the Caribbean is again a must-buy for the fans.